Media Money with Julia Boorstin

Cantor Exchange Expecting CFTC Approval; On Track to Launch April 20

Cantor Exchange, a division of Cantor Fitzgerald, is on track to get approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for a futures exchange for domestic box office receipts.

Cantor Exchange will announce today that on April 20th they'll officially begin trading futures contracts on domestic box office receipts on April 20. Cantor Exchange expects to allow traders to fund their trading accounts next month.

This exchange will enable the trading of contracts based on a movie's first four weeks of domestic box office sales. Each contract will be priced at one-millionth of the ticket sales estimate. So a contract trades for $100 if it predicts a $100 million box office gross. A prediction of $150 million in ticket sales would trade for $150, etc. If the movie grosses more, the contract increases proportionally, if it comes in short of expectations, the contract drops in value. The speculation will begin six months before a movie opens and will continue through the first four weeks at the box office. Eventually the Cantor Exchange could allow movie producers to hedge their investments.

The idea is for Cantor Exchange, which will use real money and be regulated by the CFTC to be complementary to HSX, a VIRTUAL market for shares of celebrities and movies with the 'Hollywood Dollar," which Cantor Fitzgerald also owns.

It's been a long, slow process to get this real money futures contracts exchange up and running. Cantor Fitzgerald first announced plans to launch this exchange right before September 11th. The business took a back seat until 2007, when Richard Jaycobs, who was made president of the venture, revived it.

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